Mesh Mapetla. Picture: Twitter

Jazz presenter and radio icon Mr Mesh Mapetla has passed away.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa sent condolences to the family and friends of Mapetla who passed on Tuesday, January 1 at the age of 71.

Mapetla had worked for the SABC radio stations including Lesedi FM and Metro FM.

In a press statement, Mthethwa reflected on the life of Mapetla, who was also known as Bra Mesh, "The Ultimate Jazz Fundi".

"Mapetla was an extremely knowledgeable and a passionate bearer and sharer of all that is Jazz Music in the programmes he had presented over the decades, which led to him being known in Jazz circles as "The Ultimate Jazz Fundi"'.

“We often do not pay enough tribute to Radio presenters and DJ’s for their role in popularising the music we inevitably grow to love. In reality, the role of DJ has historically been an underrated one, a tribe of behind-the-scenes heroes and heroines who continued to shape the direction of music long after they’re gone as a contributing force. 

"That is who we are mourning today- a larger than life personality, who has quietly and with great commitment, shaped the way that Jazz enthusiasts have thought about, consumed, and appreciated this special genre of music over the decades," said Mthethwa.

Mapetla's radio career had seen him at the helm of critical Jazz Music shows on radio stations including Radio BOP (Radio Bophuthatswana), Radio METRO (Metro FM) and recently Lesedi FM. 

At Lesedi  FM, the legendary “Mesh Talk” popularised the Jazz music genre, as a presenter, as well as a music compiler at the station. During his Sunday slot days at the station, jazz lovers would have their ears glued to the radio.

More tributes started pouring for the radio legend:

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